Small Business Development Center Announces the 2012-13 Scholarship Recipient
The Canton Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) mission is focused on fostering the region’s economic development through valuable programs, services and events that benefit small business owners and entrepreneurs. For the second consecutive year, events, such as the nonprofit organization’s upcoming Entrepreneur Experience, have allowed the SBDC to utilize its proceeds to provide a scholarship to a deserving student pursuing a business, finance or economics degree at an accredited Stark County university or college.
This fall, a $500 SBDC scholarship, administered by the Stark Community Foundation, is assisting the academic goals of Kavitha Bagavandoss, a Kent State University at Stark economics major.
When she took a finance course at Canton’s GlenOak High School, Bagavandoss was hooked. She admits to being the first person among her family and friends to be interested in financial education, becoming passionate about many aspects of finance, including credit versus debit, investments, saving for retirement, hedge funds and green energy stock.
“I started looking at investment opportunities for my parents and telling friends to start saving their money while they were still young,” she says. Even though retirement is many years away for Bagavandoss, she took the initiative to protect her future by starting a Roth IRA at the age of 18. She hopes to be an example, letting others her age know that they can have financial security if they start preparing for it now.
Looking back, Bagavandoss credits her high school drama teacher, Carla Derr, for encouraging her career aspirations. “She recognized my enthusiasm,” she says. When Derr expressed confidence in her ability to pursue a future in the financial field, Bagavandoss started planning her college education toward that goal.
She attended Kent State Stark as a post-secondary student while still in high school and is currently ranked as a junior. Bagavandoss is happy to be a student at the Kent State Regional Campus and feels that she is receiving a great academic foundation. “At the Stark Campus, I’m able to connect with my professors. In my courses, both in-person and online, I’ve had high-quality instruction,” she says.
In the spring semester, she will take advantage of Kent State University’s Education Abroad program and continue her education in South Korea for a semester. Bagavandoss says she is excited about the opportunity of going away to school in a foreign country. The independent, self-motivated teenager enjoys being challenged and active. She is currently employed as a Zumba instructor, peer mentor and a Kent State Student Ambassador. “When I come back from South Korea, I want to find an internship that would give me the training to be a financial advisor,” she says. Her long-term goals include earning a master’s degree in financial engineering.
Her suggestion for fellow students is to apply for several scholarships, just as she does. “There isn’t a good reason not to apply for scholarships – especially the local ones,” Bagavandoss says. Although she is surprised to learn that money often remains unclaimed simply because students do not apply for it, she is grateful to be benefitting from generous organizations, such as the SBDC, that see the value of a college education. Always mindful of fiscal responsibility, Bagavandoss realizes that the scholarships she receives are a smart investment in her own education that will pay off through her successful career.
For more information regarding the SBDC’s services or programs, visit www.cantonsbdc.org. Applications for the 2013-14 SBDC Scholarship are currently being accepted through May 1, 2013. Visit the Stark Community Foundation’s website at www.starkcf.org/scholarships.asp to download an application.